Independence rules affect the profession and indeed all partners, directors and professional staff in the firm no matter what service line we are in. These rules are ever increasing and the past year has been no exception. The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) amended its rules in July 2009 and the Deloitte Practice Manual has been updated for new policies and procedures.
To cater for the increasing demands on us to be compliant we have introduced a number of systems and processes to meet our responsibilities and to make all of our lives a little easier.
First we have upgraded the conflict checking system and have centralised the process. We are able to check a number of data bases electronically and the research is done by analysts specialised in this area, which makes for a quicker and more efficient turnaround.
Deloitte Entity Search and Compliance (DESC) system has been upgraded a number of times during the year and now contains all the family trees of our listed clients. This new system will allow all audit and non-audit services to be approved electronically.
During the past year we have developed and introduced a new system to record and monitor all business relationships. All partners/directors and managers have now declared their relationships on the Business Relationship Management System (BRMS).
We now use ContractorSmart to help us record and monitor all contracts we enter into with contractors. This system is also used together with our interrogation of the Company Intellectual Property and Registration Office (CIPRO) to monitor our contractors’ other relationships that they may have with our clients.
All partners, managers and professional staff used the electronic system to complete their annual independence declarations and we are pleased to report that submissions were made on time and we were able to meet our reporting deadline requirements to Global Independence.